I'm really really glad that it's not raining today. Without sunshine to cheer me up, I'm pretty sure I would have spent today in my bed in the fetal position. Nothing is super wrong with me personally, but boy, the world is a sad place lately, isn't it? I was supposed to be posting things today on the Facebook page of the group that I volunteer with, but the articles are about human trafficking and I just couldn't take that.
I read the news on the computer and see mention of fighting in Donetsk and I cannot wrap my brain around the idea of somewhere that I lived, as an adult, being a battlefield. War is something that happens far away and to strangers. I'm glad that I have a connection to the area so that I'm in a sense of hyper awareness about it. I need to be praying and the constant news reminds me to do so.
When I lived in Ukraine, Putin was starting to serve his first round as Russian president and he scared me even then. I remember being asked what I thought of him by an English class that I was visiting and answering honestly and then remembering that I was in the former Soviet Union and thinking how much trouble that could have gotten me in in previous eras. I also remember the strong pro-Russian sentiment that welled up from time to time in the area. I lived close to Lenin Square and the center of the city, and sometimes I would instinctively check to see which flag was flying. Yes, they still have a statue of Lenin in Donetsk.
But not everyone is pro-Russian there, although they do typically speak Russian. Daniel and I drove past a Ukrainian cultural center in the outskirts of Seattle once and he suggested that I volunteer there. I reminded him that I speak Russian, not Ukrainian and he was once again confused by that. The mission organization that I worked for sent missionaries to Eastern Ukraine rather than Russia for the language part of their work, since visas were easier to come by in Ukraine.
Many of my friends have left and gone to Western Ukraine for safety, but I still have some friends there and many of the friends who left have family and I know they are just all so concerned about their loved ones and the future of their country which, honestly, has yet to truly find its footing since gaining independence.
And I'm sad about the news coming from the middle east. People need to just quit being awful to one another already.
And, on a more personal level, I went to a friends' house last night and we laughed and had great conversation and it was a wonderful evening. Except it was all to say goodbye to a dear friend who I'm so sad is moving away. She was always someone that I could count on and hanging out with her always made me smile. We prayed hard for a good answer for her family and we're all so happy that they get this new opportunity. But still.
Sometimes though, I have to remember that I am not a robot (darn it) and am in fact a human being and that means having emotions and sometimes those are unpleasant (double darn it). But I also remember my favorite Bible scripture and that gives me peace. "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)